For a long time, it is rumoured, those goblins that chose to break the laws had no Family of their own within organized crime to belong to. As such, they, along with the far greater numbers of their more honest brethren, were victimised by other criminals and those whose job it was to enforce the laws alike. In prison they did the hardest work, had the worst food, and were beaten by guards and maltreated sexually and otherwise by the other prisoners. On the outside they were seen as the expendable gofers, sent to do the foulest or the most expendable missions, where they were most likely to be caught or killed.
It was deep within the bowels of The Paul and Peter Fortress that a group of goblins working in the prison kitchens decided to change all that and formed the Goblin Brotherhood more then a century ago. They were determined to carve out a niche for themselves within organized crime, and to do something for their own kind as well.
The kitchen boss was a great Orc, one of the most thuggish convicts in there and feared by most prisoners, but he was taken by surprise when a goblin slashed his leg with a blade.
Furious, he ran after the goblin determined to tear him apart, but fell into a trap as the goblins had oiled the floor. When he fell over they swarmed him with blades, cutting his throat before he could rise. Then they took his body, dragged it to the meat grinder that was used to produce a large part of the prison food and hurled it in. The only part of his body that was not ground down was the skull. They chopped it up with meat cleavers and passed the bits of skull to a goblin trustee who gave them to the prison guard dogs, who quickly chewed them beyond recognition.
When the prison guards failed to find him despite searching the whole prison, they searched outside. Assuming he had escaped, they swept it under the carpet not wanting to be blamed. It was not long before the goblins carried out various other killings and maimings, but rarely amongst their own kind. As their group grew larger they decided upon the five Sacred Rules.
1) Blood in, blood out: you must kill (or maim) to join, and you leave only with your own death.
2) Nobody must betray the Brotherhood on penalty of death.
3) Do not prey on your own kind unless they are against us: all goblins that are not against us are for us unless they prove otherwise.
4) I will honour my fellow goblins in peace as in war.
5) Share the booty equally, be it in prison or on the street.
Most of their killings were carried out away from the guards, and in the early stages the bodies were disposed of in the meat grinder, but inevitably the prison guards found out what was going on. One in particular, Officer Dillon, a human, brutally tortured the goblins he suspected of being Brotherhood members, beating their feet with a cane, and then telling them he would hurt them even more unless they confessed. Somehow they got a message out to the others, warning them that they could not hold out much longer, as the guard was threatening to amputate their body parts.
One of the founders of the Brotherhood, Kralek, decided to give his life for the cause of his organisation, stabbing Officer Dillon in the stomach with a shank made in the prison workshop that had been left in rotten meat for a while, right in front of his fellow guards. Captured, he was offered his life, his freedom and a new name if he would inform on his brothers; scornfully he turned it down and went to the gallows.
Officer Dillon took days to die as the bacteria spread through his body, and he died slowly and in as much agony as the goblins he had tortured.
Not long afterwards another of the more brutal guards was shot in the street, when two members of the Brotherhood who had been released after serving their sentences went by in a cart, one holding the reins, the other a crossbow that had been mounted on an extendable tripod to deal with the recoil problem. The arrow hit him in the stomach; it too had been left in rotten meat for a while ensuring that the guard would die a slow and painful death.
The problem for the guards was that they had no idea who was in the Brotherhood and who was not; as unlike many other gangs, the Brotherhood members both inside and outside prison wore no tattoos or any other symbols to mark them out as members. And there were far too many goblin prisoners to torture them all. Moreover, the Brotherhood had shown that it was willing to murder even prison guards if it was not left alone. In the end both sides came to an uneasy truce; provided the Brotherhood didn’t attack guards, escape from prison or blatantly cause trouble openly, the guards would not try too hard to destroy it.
In time as members finished their sentences it spread to the street, and from there to other Prisons, Jails and Places of Holding. On the street the established criminal gangs at first tried to destroy it, but after the Brotherhood replied with a handful of assassinations of criminal bosses, a truce was called. After all, gang warfare prevented the making of money and brought down heavy heat on everyone involved from law enforcement.
On the outside the Brotherhood’s main crimes are extortion from pixies and gnomes (and even occasionally dwarves) and shoplifting, burglary and other forms of stealing from the larger races. They rarely target other goblins, which have given them a “Robin Hood” image amongst goblin kind. In prison they try and muscle in on the smuggling rackets and also protect their own members. Generally, they will only target their own kind in three circumstances; if they find they are being betrayed, if one of their own is breaking any of the five Sacred Rules, or in the case of sex offenders, who they despise.
On the outside, their favourite tactic is the ride-by crossbowing, on the inside they use any loose metal they can get their hands on to make sharp prison shanks. In all cases, their weapon points and blades are coated with bacteria, thus ensuring that even the smallest of cuts will cause a nasty scar and any serious wound will almost certainly cause a slow and painful death within days. Whilst they prefer not to directly fight the forces of the law, they are not afraid to target them if they feel they have to. With rival gangs the same applies; if they can get on together they will, but they will not hesitate to murder rival gang murders if they feel threatened or disrespected.
Plot Hooks: The Goblin Brotherhood has hired the PCs to do a task for them, which can be as simple or complex as is needed for the role-play.
The PCs are fighting against the Goblin Brotherhood.
The PCs are goblins and members of the Brotherhood, which has sent them on their quest.
The PCs are escorting a witness to court to testify, and then to his or her new life in a new town under a new name.The Brotherhood will be doing it's hardest to find and attack them as one of it's leading members is on trial.